Mayor Amanda Findley has strongly defended her intention to continue her teaching career but does not see herself becoming full time “any time soon”.
Community members have voiced concerns that teaching would reduce her commitment and effectiveness in her mayoral role.
However Cr Findley rejects that, seeing her hopes to teach as complementary to being mayor, rather than conflicting.
“It’s not just about staying connected to my profession but also to a big chunk of the community - younger people who are unrepresented on council.”- Amanda Findley
“It’s not just about staying connected to my profession but also to a big chunk of the community - younger people who are unrepresented on council,” Cr Findley said.
Cr Findley has two teenage daughters, Tanner and Kiah. Kiah ran for council in the recent local government elections.
“You hear when hanging around young people what they want and the teaching fraternity also tells us what the needs of young people are,” the mayor said.
“At this rate as mayor, however, I have been flat out every day and going back to full time work is not on the near horizon, that’s for sure.”
The mayor said ideally her intention would be to go back to work one day a week next year.
That is no shoe-in.
“It is really difficult to achieve just one day as a casual teacher, due to the vagueries as to when an opportunity will come up.”
Cr Findley does not believe being the mayor will carry weight in securing her a teaching position.
“It’s about staying connected with my profession and converting from a provisional teacher to a proficient teacher,” she said.
“I spent nine years going to uni, graduated in 2014 and don’t want to throw that away, because politics is a fickle industry.”
“Why wouldn’t she continue teaching? Other councillors have full time jobs which keep us in touch with the average working person.”- Kaye Gartner
The mayor’s Greens Ward 3 colleague, Cr Kaye Gartner, agreed.
“Four years is a long time in anyone’s life and you never know if you are going to be mayor again,” she said.
“It is not out of the ordinary not to be a full time mayor.”
“The position is not recompensed as a full time role.”
She said the Greens team all knew before the election that Cr Findley had commitments in the future.
“Why wouldn’t she continue teaching? Other councillors have full time jobs which keep us in touch with the average working person.”
“I also run a part time business.”
Cr Findley also believes elected representatives are better informed when connected professionally to their communities.
“Even though I am committed to do my very best for community, I still have to have a profession - I’ll be 50 at the end of my first term.”
“I’m not going to be dishonest with the community because other people spin my words into their own agendas.
“Absolutely my political opponents made mischief - saying I would refuse to meet with some groups because I would be tied into teaching.”
Cr Findley said there were 13 councillors to represent the whole of city and she couldn’t be at every place, every time.
“Whether I’m working or not, some responsibility falls on other councillors some of the time anyway.”
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